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Red Wings Schedule 2013: Red Wings May Start the Season at Joe Louis Arena

While the CBA has yet to be ratified and the schedule yet to be set, the Wings may have an advantage for getting to start the season at home.

JPowers65 - Flickr

Most reports coming out since yesterday indicate that the NHL and NHLPA were likely to finalize a CBA which would create a 48-game season starting on Saturday, January 19th instead of the alternate 50-game plan that called for the shortened race to the playoffs to start on Monday the 15th. For fans of the Red Wings who want to see their team live as son as possible, the 48-gamer might be the better choice for them anyway.

As Kevin Zimmerman at SB Nation Detroit reported, the Joe Louis Arena will be occupied by Ford for an auto show until the 15th, making a season-and-home opener an unlikely opportunity for that date. However, the next Joe Louis event scheduled on their calendar isn't until February 2nd when Michigan State and Michigan take to the ice for a rivalry matchup.

Looking at the rest of the Central Division, the Blackhawks won't be using the United Center on the 19th, as the Chicago Bulls will be playing a home game against Memphis that night. Nashville might be able to accommodate the Wings on the 19th a night after Justin Bieber comes to the Bridgestone. The other two possibilities are the Nationwide Arena in Columbus and the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Both of those arenas have no events centered around that date either.

We'll find out more as the schedule is released, but Detroit is definitely a team that could accommodate having their home opener on the 19th. Unfortunately, looking at scheduling in seasons past and how the Red Wings have been used as the league's biggest road draw, I would not be at all surprised to see the Wings heading to Nashville, St. Louis, or Columbus on the season's first Saturday night.